The European Court of Justice has just made flying extremely traveller-friendly. In a new ruling, the Court has ordered all European airlines to provide flight delay compensation even in the absence of the original boarding pass.
This is a massive win for passengers, as they now have more freedom to seek redressal when affected by unanticipated delays and flight cancellations.
Old rules deemed too harsh
Earlier, any traveller who wished to seek compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight had to provide their original boarding pass as proof of the delay/cancellation. This was an unspoken rule that European airlines followed.
The requirement was strengthened when the French Court of Cassation passed a ruling that made the original boarding pass mandatory for all flight compensation requests. However, with the new decision, this requirement has been done away with.
The decision stems from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ‘s belief that the boarding pass is a redundant document for flight compensation cases. Airline carriers use state-of-the-art passenger management software. They collect personal and itinerary details at numerous touchpoints and store the data in their systems. Often, this vital information is also backed-up in remote servers.
According to the ECJ, asking for the original boarding pass isn’t just non-essential, but it’s also an unwarranted measure. They believe that airlines use this strategy to avoid fulfilling compensation payments.
All EU members expected to comply
The ECJ’s new ruling applies to all 28 member states of the European Union. The rules stand as follows – compensation is entitled to anyone who experienced a flight delay, disruption, rescheduling, or complete cancellation.
In terms of the type of compensation that airlines owe travellers, this is determined by
– the length/nature of the disruption,
– the amount of inconvenience the passenger experienced,
– the duration of the flight, and
– the destination (must be in the EU).
To be eligible for a refund, a passenger’s flight must be delayed for more than 3 hours, and the delay must be the fault of the airline carrier. In case the flights postpone overnight, the airline carrier will also be responsible for providing food, beverages, and snacks to its passengers.
The costs of an overnight stay should also be borne by the airline. Additionally, if the passenger is unable to make a hotel booking, the airline must find accommodation for him/her.
In case the delay isn’t overnight, and the wait exceeds 5 hours, the passenger is eligible to claim a 100% refund of the flight cost, plus those of any connecting flights missed owing to the delay.
According to the ECJ ruling, travellers can still seek a certain percentage of compensation for the disruption, even if they chose to travel by the fully-comped flight that the airline provides as an alternative.
At Flight Delay Refunds, we specialize in filing flight reimbursement claims. We have helped thousands of travellers receive their rightful compensation for delayed and cancelled flights. We can help you with your requests too, so feel free to speak to us for more information.